Friday, June 21, 2013

Steve Wozniak Laments Creating The Tools That Government Uses To Spy On Us

By, Chris Rossini

Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, is a person who has truly helped to change the world for the better. This brilliant man, in my mind, deserves to be placed in the same camp as say Thomas Edison. The fruits of his labor have changed life dramatically for the good.

And Wozniak did it the right way, as a private individual working for a private company. So you won't see his face on the front of the funny money, or hanging up in a classroom, or carved into Mount Rushmore.

Yet despite Wozniak's brilliance, when it comes to understanding the nature of The State, he's as clueless as a child. Like most Americans, his heart is in the right place, but his mind has accepted the government propaganda that has been fed to him his entire life.

Wozniak was on Piers Morgan's show, talking about his disgust at the U.S. government's spying:
"Read the facts: it's government of, by and for the people. We own the government; we are the ones who pay for it and then we discover something that our money is being used for – that just can't be, that level of crime."
The only truth in that statement is "we are the ones who pay for it".

That's it!

The rest is 100% incorrect.
When Morgan suggested the government would not be able to keep such a close eye on citizens without the work of innovators like him, Wozniak acknowledged: "I actually feel a little guilty about that – but not totally. We created the computers to free the people up, give them instant communication anywhere in the world; any thought you had, you could share freely. That it was going to overcome a lot of the government restrictions.
We didn't realise that in the digital world there were a lot of ways to use the digital technology to control us, to snoop on us, to make things possible that weren't.
In my opinion, Wozniak should not feel guilty at all. Tyranny thrives when individuals are unable to communicate with one another. The tools that have been created are bringing people together like never before. Geography no longer prohibits one individual from understanding others who may be different.

With communication tools, people on one side of the earth are able to think outside of government's propaganda that those on the other side are just a bunch of "gooks" who need to conquered and remade.

Wozniak should sleep with a clear mind. The creation of good should never be suppressed for fear of what evil will do with it. The creation of good should always flow out of creative minds; for in the end, the good will always win out.
"All these things about the constitution, that made us so good as people – they are kind of nothing.

"They are all dissolved with the Patriot Act. There are all these laws that just say 'we can secretly call anything terrorism and do anything we want, without the rights of courts to get in and say you are doing wrong things'. There's not even a free open court any more. Read the constitution. I don't know how this stuff happened. It's so clear what the constitution says."
This is one of the most common errors that Americans make.

When one truly understands the nature of The State, he/she realizes that there's no restricting it. You can write down some rules, and they may last for awhile. But the rules will be as effective as telling a bunch of cancer cells that they have to stay put, and are not allowed to spread.

Put a barrier in front of a group of men who have a lust for power, and they will spend every waking moment thinking of ways to get through it.

The evisceration of The U.S. Constitution began immediately (even though it was supposed to chain down The State). We are now over 200 years in, and the last vestiges are being removed; but the power hungry went to work right away, before the ink was even dry.

In fact, for the real history nerds amongst us, many of those who created the Constitution did so to increase their power. While there are some good elements in the document (The Bill of Rights), the whole ordeal was no doubt a coup against liberty.

So Wozniak rightly hates what the government is doing, but because he doesn't understand what government is, what its nature is, he'll most likely join the multitudes in seeking solutions that are equivalent to a dog chasing its tail.

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  1. I can't understand why libertarians are so critical of the US Constitution. By any objective standard, Greek Athens in the golden age, the early Roman Republic, a period of limited Monarchy in Great Briton and the first 150 years of the American Republic stand out as shining stars in the history of mankind with respect to individual liberty, economic liberty, and self direction by the common man. It wasn't perfect, but the vast majority of human beings who ever existed lived under less liberty, less fairness, etc.

    After the endarklenment, and a future Renaissance, history teachers will tell their spellbound pupils of the fabulous Greeks, the Romans, and the last, most unbelievable of the great civilizations, the Americans.

  2. Libertarians are not critical of US Constitution, but of the making of fetish out of this document. No written law is going to constrain those who usurped the monopoly on interpreting and enforcing it.

    So Constitution is a nice symbol, but that's it. It has no legitimacy, and certainly does not give legitimacy to the State, no matter what the masses are taught to think. It can be a useful symbol (it is certainly worthwhile to exploit the irrational belief in its power to achieve short-term goals such as curbing the most obnoxious power-grabs by the State), but we also need to stay clear-eyed about the fact that it is exactly the same symbol which enabled the growth of the monstrous class of legalized thieves who'd be tarred and feathered if not for the veneer of respectability conferred by this sacred parchment.

  3. “…Wozniak should not feel guilty at all…”

    I agree – technology that makes lives easier also makes lives easier to be controlled. This has been true in the past, and will be true in the future. It is nothing for the technologist to apologize for.

    The technologists that owe an apology – and in fact should cease and desist by withdrawing their services – are those that are directly working on the hardware and software under contract of the federal government. I do not speak of technology that has both government and private sector use, but items that are used for government purposes.

    Those writing the code for the NSA, those selling hardware to the NSA, etc.


  4. Everywhere, all humans live under rulers. It is a feature of all existent and past human societies.

    The rulers of the People's republic have no constitution or vote to rest their legitimacy on but they continue to rule. I doubt if most subjects think the various kings in the middle east have some sort of Divine charge. Many places with democracy, it is one vote, one time. Even where rulers can be voted out it is often just loot, reward supporters and punish enemies while you are in power; and try to buy more time in power with bribes, force and intimidation.

    As I said, a few short civilizations stand out for the amount of personal autonomy the common man had. It is rare, like finding a diamond.